A few months ago I setup a very good SRM lab. The lab itself is entirely virtual and sits on top of an existing vSphere infrastructure.This was possible due to the recent release of the EMC Celerra VSA: Uber Edition. This virtual Celerra storage appliance makes a great test bed for things such as this test lab.
Looking for a guide on how to do this? Mike Laverick recently released a book that is free to download, Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 4.0. Besides going into great detail on setting up SRM, it shows specific examples based on your storage including NetApp, LeftHand, EMC CLARiiON, and EMC Celerra based storage.
For a basic lab you’ll need the following to get started:
- An active directory infrastructure
- Storage at both your production and disaster recovery datacenters. The storage does not need to by physical and can be the above aforementioned Celerra VSA, however it must be supported as SRM relies on the use of an SRA to connect to and manage storage. No available SRA means no SRM setup.
- 2 vCenter servers, one for both your production and dr datacenter. SRM will run here.
- 2 ESX/ESXi hosts, one at each datacenter.
- Several VM’s at the production site to setup recovery for.
Using the resources mentioned here you should have no problem getting this setup. Most of the issues I’ve experienced when using SRM will be maintaining your recovery groups when changes are made to virtual machines. Using SRM requires you to regularly test your recovery plans which will ensure that you are protecting the proper storage groups consistently and hence protecting your virtual machines and infrastructure.